When talking about the resources she’d accessed when trying to get pregnant for over seven years, a friend of mine remarked that there’s ‘a lot of charlatans out there’. She did get pregnant in the end; a complete and joyful surprise.
National Infertility Awareness Week runs from 28th October to 3rd November and aims “to raise the level of understanding about infertility from the debilitating emotional impact and the overwhelming feelings of sadness, helplessness and grief, to the important fact that this is a medical condition and not something to be ashamed of!” Their campaign for 2013 is Talking About Trying, to encourage couples to talk about their experiences and raise awareness of infertility.
Whatever the outcome of your own personal ‘fertility journey’ (I personally avoid the word infertility because of the negative connotations and the impact of words on our body’s cells – for more, see here), there’s no doubt that it can be an opportunity for growth. Most holistic approaches to creating a fertile body highlight the importance of choosing a healthy lifestyle, and the alternative medicine a person might explore along the way has an impact on other areas of their wellbeing. It is also an opportunity for you to grow as a couple: those who have been through the ups and downs of trying to get pregnant tend to get to know each other pretty well, warts and all!
These are the five books I found useful during my own ‘fertility journey’. Though there’s no promise they’ll get you pregnant, they’ll certainly help you grow and learn, and create a healthier body and mind:
The Fertility Diet: How to maximise your chances of having a baby at any age by Sarah Dobbyn Dobbyn is a 21st century woman who, despite being one of the media’s lambasted female groups who have left it late to get pregnant, refuses to see that as a limitation. She simply hasn’t met the right man, but in the meantime is confident that by keeping her body as healthy and youthful as she can, she can defy the ageing process. This is backed up by heaps of research (she did a degree in nutrition) and all the best foods and drinks to keep every cell in your body youthful and vibrant.
Taking Charge Of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler Whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant, this is one book every woman should own. Becoming aware of our cycles is hugely empowering, and this huge tome has all the tools to do that without the need for any doctors or equipment. My friend used this book and the accompanying charts as her form of birth control; it’s telling that when I borrowed it she got pregnant with her second child (since he made his gorgeous appearance, she has forgiven me!).
Zita West’s Guide to Getting Pregnant: The Complete Programme from the Renowned Fertility Expert by Zita West Considered by many to be the fertility guru, Zita West’s book compiles all her experience and knowledge in a friendly format. I went to see a talk with Zita and appreciated her down to earth approach; she said that no person lived a perfect stress-free, healthy life all the time but she aims to arm you with the tools to get cleansed and ready to have a happy pregnancy.
Fully Fertile 2nd Ed. : A Holistic 12-Week Plan for Optimal Fertility by Tamara Quinn, Elizabeth Heller and Jeanie Lee Bussell This comprehensive and friendly book has a twelve week structure that feels achievable. It covers diet and yoga positions for each week and gathers together mind/body information that research has shown may the vital link we’re missing in fertility treatment.
The Whole Person Fertility Programme by Niravi Payne and Brenda Lane Richardson I discovered this little book by accident and found it a refreshingly different approach. Looking at the mind/body connection, Payne has put together a book that helps couples discover and work through emotional and psychological barriers to conception. It’s a step-by-step journey that includes family tree mappings, meditations, visualisations and journal writing. You’ll discover a great deal about yourself through this work.